West Seattle, Washington
As noted in the newest comments following WSB coverage of the Admiral District crash that sent a woman to the hospital Tuesday night, an online fundraiser is now set up for her. Via this GoFundMe page, organizers identify the victim as Britt Russell. She is an employee at Mission Cantina, and was headed to work when hit by a driver at/near California/Walker. According to the fundraising page, she suffered numerous serious injuries but has been “stabilized.” The fundraiser is meant to help with an expected long path to recovery:
Britt is strong. While being such a kind and loving person she also has a fighting spirit. She will eventually recover but we know she will be in the hospital or in rehab for most of the next year. We are looking to support Britt and her family’s medical expenses outside of insurance as well as travel for her family living outside of the country. Her entire immediate and extended family live in Australia and airfare is quite costly. We know how important having family close by is to the healing process.
Meantime, we are still following up with Seattle Police regarding the investigation; no new information is available so far.
One month after two West Seattleites announced a donation drive for the Water Protectors led by the Standing Rock Sioux, Giles Stanton and Cathy Morgan are back from their Thanksgiving-week run to North Dakota, and just sent a wrapup report and photos:
The two days and nights we were at the Oceti Sakowin Camp (connected to both Rosebud and Sacred Stone Camps) saw their first snowfall of the season — it was numbingly cold though nothing compared with the weather yet to come. But, thanks to all of you, they now have a better chance at comfortably enduring the coming prairie winter. Giles helped construct an expansion to their main Donation / Supply Tent and Cathy applied her newfound donation-sorting skills to the profusion of items pouring in daily.
The packed cargo van of West Seattle donations was gratefully swallowed up into the organized ocean of useful winter goods and flowed right back out into the hands of long-term supporters fortifying themselves against the cold.
The Go Fund Me campaign has already been very successful — thank you! Once we have the cargo van’s gas totals collected and reimbursed, we’ll send all the unspent dollars back to the camp to buy whatever they need by then.
The trip, and this entire experience, has been immensely powerful and eye-opening. A truly international network is engaged in alliance at Standing Rock; the sign post and a tour of license plates and handmade banners reveals the scope of the community on the ground. We are humbled by your generosity and inspired by the unflagging energy and commitment on active display all over the camp.
Cathy & Giles
A little more than three weeks after we first published the announcement of a West Seattle donation drive for the Standing Rock Sioux-led pipeline-route-protest camp, the results are about to head eastbound to North Dakota. We checked in as they loaded up around sunset. Here’s the final official update:
Thanks to all of West Seattle who helped fill a large cargo van of warm clothing and winter gear for the Water Protectors encamped on the very cold prairie in North Dakota. We are leaving to deliver all of this stuff and will report back as we can from the road. Great to be part of this community.
Cathy and Giles
The van they’re driving belongs to Harold, who they met via the response to the reports we published. Here’s the final inventory (PDF) of what they’ve received and are taking.
They’ve also received some donations to cover expenses via this GoFundMe page (which also includes a more-comprehensive explanation of what they’re doing).
From left in the photo (taken at Talarico’s) are Ryan, Ty, Phuong, and Vitaly. Ty sent the photo and report about a gathering of what he described as the “Junction Logistics Network“:
9 times out of 10, if you live/work in the Junction you’ve received a package from one of these guys.
In preparation of the holiday season, we wanted to get together and “break bread.” We discussed multiple topics ranging from safety and wellness to traffic concerns and our ever-expanding community we serve. Whether you work for USPS, UPS, FEDEX, or OnTrac, at the end of the day we all have one goal in mind. And that is to do our job to the best of our ability and to also come home to our loved ones safely.
“I see these guys all week long and we might have ten seconds to say Hi, Bye, look out for this..complain about the weather, etc. I knew they were great and exceptional workers, but I wanted to know ‘why’ they were.”- Ty
P.S. One arrived early, one was on time. One a little late and one got lost “en route.”
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
3:24 PM: Late last night, we reported on a medical emergency that left a RapidRide C Line bus stalled on the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct and sent its driver to the hospital. As promised, we followed up with Metro this morning. The driver, they just told us, did not make it. Here’s the full news release that resulted from our inquiry:
A Metro Transit operator suffered a fatal heart attack late Thursday while driving a RapidRide C Line on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, just south of Columbia Street. Passengers on board were able to help bring the bus to a safe stop and call 9-1-1. No passengers were injured.
The incident was reported about 11:17 p.m. The driver, Sam Williams, 63, was traveling south when he said he was experiencing a heart attack and became semiconscious. Passengers noticed the bus swerving at slow speeds and quickly rushed to Williams’ aid. One passenger was able to help bring the bus to a stop in the outside lane – about six inches from the viaduct’s guardrail. Other passengers helped unbuckle the driver and remove him from his seat, and began performing CPR. A retired Auburn police officer who was driving behind the bus stopped his vehicle and helped provide aid until first responders arrived.
Williams was pronounced deceased after being transported to Harborview Medical Center.
“Those who ride Metro Transit know there is a sense of community on the bus, between passengers and drivers,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “When an incident occurs, people step up to help one another. The passengers on Sam Williams’ route exemplify the best of who we are as a region.”
“Our drivers care deeply about their passengers’ safety and comfort. We are grateful to the passengers who rushed to help Sam as soon as it was clear that he needed medical help. Sam will be missed by his friends, family, coworkers, and those who rode on his bus each day.”
“Many of us are grieving today over the loss of Sam Williams, a dedicated Metro operator for the last six years,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “I thank the passengers whose quick action to safely stop the bus prevented this from becoming an even greater tragedy.”
Williams started as a part-time operator in 2010. He achieved full-time status in 2014.
4:32 PM: We’ve learned more about Mr. Williams thanks to commenter Kelly, who informs us he was a juggler with the famous Flying Karamazov Brothers troupe. We’ve been researching his background and among other things found this podcast interview published earlier this month.
9:50 PM: Photo of Mr. Williams added above (courtesy John Cornicello). There are more tributes to him in the comments below, as well as a link to this video of a memorable TV appearance one commenter mentioned – Mr. Williams and the other Flying Karamazov Brothers teaching “Mister Rogers” how to juggle. On the group’s Facebook page, this tribute:
We are heartbroken to tell you that Sam Williams, aka Smerdyakov Karamazov, has gone on and joined the choir invisible. It was never publicly admitted, but we can all admit that he’s always been the funniest K, and his passing leaves a major hole in the world. Today is a very sad day. RIP.
Give someone a hug and tell them you love them.
We photographed Giles and Cathy in the storage area that Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation is letting them borrow for the donations they’ll be taking to the Standing Rock Sioux-led oil-pipeline-route-protest camp later this month. We stopped by yesterday, during the second of three Saturday dropoff events there; one more is coming up, next Saturday (November 19th), 8 am-noon (7141 California SW). If you’re just hearing about this now, here’s their original announcement; here’s last weekend’s update. Now – the update they sent this morning:
Another big thank you to West Seattle. We now have more stuff than will fit in our cargo van. And we have one more week of donations!
We now need folks who are going to Standing Rock to help transport the donations before the winter weather truly sets in. If you can help, let us know so that we can coordinate with you.
Or, we can still take monetary donations.
Cathy Morgan and Giles Stanton
They also provided this inventory of what’s been donated so far (PDF).
“Nice chatting with you, neighbor.” That friendly goodbye, said as one participant left the “peace gathering” at Myrtle Reservoir Park tonight, summarized what it was all about – neighbors gathering with neighbors. We stopped by around 45 minutes into it, and at least 50 people were there.
It was informal – candlelight, pizza, children running around and playing. And a lot of talk. One person told another that she was worried some ongoing issues won’t be resolved in her lifetime. And certainly, nothing was going to be resolved in one night. But Mary Ellen Cunningham told us she had the idea for the gathering, while having trouble sleeping last night.
Sarah, who sent us first word of the gathering this afternoon, tells us tonight, “Thanks to all who came out to the peace gathering tonight – I know many were encouraged simply by your presence.” She adds that a mailing list is being set up “regarding further gatherings and ways to come together as a community,” so if you’re interested, please e-mail email@example.com to be included.
Also from the WSB inbox this afternoon:
Thought we needed a little positivity today. I collected some donations from my coworkers at Circa to take to a tent community down on E. Marginal Way.
Blankets, socks, clothes, towels, food, coats and toiletries. 💛💛💛 Taking them down now … with my husband and 9 year-old.
2:10 PM: Just out of the WSB inbox from Sarah, who describes this as a “peace gathering”:
Join us tonight at 5 pm at Reservoir Park on 35th & Myrtle for a time of being together as a community. This isn’t about joining to stand against our new president or the people who voted for him. It’s about joining together to stand FOR love, FOR justice, FOR equality, and to give a space for those who are grieving and afraid.
Bring warm jackets, picnic dinner, candles, games or instruments. We look forward to seeing you there.
3:02 PM: Sarah adds that this is a family-friendly gathering
5:42 PM: We are stopping by the event right now. Several dozen people of all ages are here, on the north side of the park by the play area.
The Seahawks are on Monday Night Football this week, and on Monday morning, a West Seattle superfan will be raising a 12th Man flag on TV:
That’s the video made with 11-year-old “Awesome Avery” Berg and her fellow students at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor). KING 5 called for nominees to raise a 12th Man Flag at their broadcast location at Stadium Place, just outside CenturyLink Field, and dozens of supporters made the case for Avery. We brought you her story back in September, as she started middle school shortly after being diagnosed with a rare brain cancer called AT/RT. Barbara Travers told us this afternoon about Avery’s upcoming flag-raising – she will be interviewed between 8:30 and 9 am on KING’s morning news, and then will raise their 12th Man flag at the end of the broadcast.
P.S. Avery’s mom has continued to post updates online; most recently, Avery finished radiation treatments, and will soon be undergoing chemotherapy.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Longtime West Seattle resident Russell Lundwall is about to celebrate a milestone birthday: 100 years old on Friday (November 4th).
Hestill lives in the Westwood-area home he built and lived in with his wife Margaret until her death in 2004, 58 years after they married.
The West Seattle lot they purchased was the last one in the subdivision. You might have thought they would settle in Ballard, with Scandinavian roots – Russ’s mother Alice was of Norwegian descent, and his father John, Swedish. But Margaret’s sister and her husband lived in West Seattle, and the Lundwalls came to visit often.
Russell Lundwall says his mother, meantime, born in 1872, “was way ahead of her time” – he says she “went to high school when women didn’t do that.” She and her first husband and daughter, Lundwall’s half-sister, moved to Minnesota, and after doing something else rare – getting divorced – she stayed there and ran a boarding house for married men working in the mines. In Minnesota, she met John Lundwall, who worked in law enforcement, and together they had Russell.
“I went to the fanciest schools from kindergarten to (the first) two years of college,” Lundwall said. Read More
Tonight in Chicago, the Cubs are playing Game 4 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians – the Cubs’ first World Series since 1945. If you’re a Cubs fan, you likely are familiar with the late Steve Goodman‘s songs “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request” and “Go Cubs Go.” The man who literally wrote the book on Steve Goodman (photo at right by Bob Sirott) is West Seattleite Clay Eals, and that landed him on NPR this morning, as several WSB readers mentioned to us. If you missed it, the audio clip of his interview with NPR’s Scott Simon is above.
Eals’s award-winning book “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music” was first published in 2007 but has just been updated for a fourth printing that ECW Press will release in mid-December. You can pre-order a copy here.
SIDE NOTE: You almost certainly know Eals as executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Its annual benefit brunch happens to be exactly a week away – tickets are still available, here.
Twelve days after a little boy was rushed to the hospital with a serious injury suffered during the October 14th windstorm, we are hearing for the first time from his family. We had a short followup last week, and then today received this:
Dear West Seattle Community,
We are a local family and the parents of the 4-year old boy who was injured by the falling tree in Fauntleroy Park on October 14. We have so appreciated the kind words and thoughts on the West Seattle Blog and from our local community that we wanted to update you all on his status. We have tried to maintain his confidentiality, but we felt compelled to share more information, especially since we now have positive news to share.
Our boy suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull, brain injury and broken femur. He was stabilized by the Seattle Fire Department, transported by Medic One, treated at Harborview Medical Center ED and Pediatric ICU, and is now in in-patient rehabilitation at Seattle Children’s. Thanks to the fantastic care of numerous providers, and to the love and support of his family, friends and community, he has made great strides in his recovery. He is a sweet, tough, energetic little boy and we are happy to report that he is talking, eating, smiling and playing. We are hopeful that, in time, he will make a full and complete recovery.
We are enormously fortunate to live in a city with quality emergency care. SFD and Medic One were quick to arrive and professionally assess, stabilize and transport our boy. HMC was hands-down exceptional from start to finish; we now understand why it is a nationally renowned Level 1 trauma center. And Children’s is, well, Children’s – we could not ask for a better place for our boy to recover and improve. Collectively, they saved his life, his body, his brain and his spirit.
Our boy has a long way to go, though, so we appreciate the continued hopes, thoughts, prayers, meditations, words, rays of light and all other ethereal forms of support the people of West Seattle have so kindly shared. Please know that, even if you do not know his name or address, he and we receive them all.
We remain deeply grateful for the love and compassion of our wonderful community.
Family and friends are looking for your help in finding Will, 16 years old and reported as missing:
From Will’s aunt:
Friends, especially those in West Seattle and Tukwila, please help us locate my nephew Will. He was last seen October 5th and we last heard from him October 9th. His family is desperately searching for him. A police report has been filed In both Tukwila and Seattle. He has been known to hang out at Westwood Village, Castle Skate Park, White Center, Lincoln Park, High Point, and along Roxbury in West Seattle. Again, please let us know if you see or hear from him – any information is helpful! He is 16 years old, 6’4″ and approximately 140 lbs.
Refer to Seattle Police report #16-372774.
Right about this time last Friday, the wind picked up and caused several hours of trouble in West Seattle, among other areas; trees came down and more than 4,000 homes and businesses lost power for a while. As reported here that afternoon, the most serious injury related to the storm was suffered by a 4-year-old boy who along with his dad was hit by a falling tree branch near the Fauntleroy Church/YMCA building. The child was most seriously hurt of the two, and many have asked us how he is doing. While we have no direct contact with his family, we were able to find out from Harborview Medical Center that he is still there, in intensive care, in serious condition. A friend tells us that the family has chosen not to comment but is heartened by knowing how much the community cares. We have reached out in several ways to renew the request to let us know if there is any information we can share regarding needs or requests.
West Seattle has another centenarian! Marie Prichett‘s family shared the photo and report about her 100th birthday celebration:
Surrounded by friends and family members who came from Seattle, Southern California, and points in between, Marie made a stylish grand entrance in a midnight-blue lace cocktail dress. A sit-down dinner was served, complete with birthday cake, and there was live music from the Roaring Twenties by “The Double Barrs.”
Born in Spokane in 1916, Marie graduated from the University of Washington in 1937. She married the late Cecil Prichett in 1940, and they had two children, Jack and Anne. Marie has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Marie taught school, first in Bellingham and later in California, retiring in 1977. She moved from Oakland to Seattle in 2004 to be near her family. Marie has traveled all over the world, including extended solo travel in retirement, after Cecil died. These days, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and regularly participates in games and social activities at Brookdale.
What does Marie say is the secret to long life? “Good luck,” and she wishes good luck to everyone.
Marie’s 100th birthday party was on October 8th at Brookdale West Seattle. We love to share community members’ milestones – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Show you care! You’re invited to join 100 Women Who Care as they gather Wednesday to choose their next local beneficiary – or, there are other ways to help. Here’s the invitation and explanation:
They are a group of women who lead busy lives but want to do some good in the community. They meet 3 times a year and agree to help one local charity in a really BIG way……. 100 people x $100 = $10,000 impact to a charity chosen by the group.
If you join prior to the event – Make a Commitment – you get to nominate your favorite charities for selection at our October 5th (Wednesday) event. See their website for more information. Invite your friends and join us for the evening.
P.S. If you are unable to attend, there is online voting. If you have any questions, please e-mail email@example.com
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
A West Seattle legend celebrated a milestone today. The Senior Center of West Seattle threw a party for Jean Carroll‘s 90th birthday. About 60 people were there for a party she pronounced “absolutely marvelous”!
Jean has been a volunteer at the center for 18 years. If you don’t already know her, you might remember her in the spotlight for another reason this past summer – she spoke at the 75th anniversary celebration for Colman Pool (WSB coverage here), where she was one of the first two people to swim before it opened on July 4th, 1941. Ahead, more from today’s party: Read More
3:05 PM: Almost 24 hours to the moment after the 3-alarm Lam Bow Apartments fire broke out in Delridge, more than a dozen people from the Seattle Police and Fire Departments and Seattle Housing Authority stood behind Mayor Ed Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole at City Hall, as they announced honors for heroes.
“These public servants saved a lot of lives,” said the mayor. At the top of the story is our phone video of what he and the chiefs said; we have more to add, including photos, names, and our conversation afterward with SHA’s Thaddeus Perry, who was working on a project in the main office when a tenant came running in yelling, “Fire, fire, fire” – he rushed into the building to get people out.
4:23 PM: Here’s SHA employee Perry, at center:
He told us he just started working for SHA in the West Seattle area – assigned to several buildings/complexes including Lam Bow – as of about two weeks ago. After he ran into the building and discovered a “barrage” of smoke on the 3rd floor, he was soon joined by SPD Sgt. Britt and they went up and down the hallway, “banging on doors,” to tell people to get out. They all did, and as SFD said yesterday, everyone escaped without injury.
4:55 PM: Here are the names of the SPD personnel who were honored:
Sgt. Jim Britt
Officer Aaron Briggs
Officer Nick Meyst
Officer Garth Lindelef
Officer Nick Burk
Officer German Barreto
Officer Sandro Fleming
Officer Ryan Levens
Officer Jack Johns
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The organizers of Hate Free Delridge ran out of name tags after 200 were handed out, and the people kept coming for the group’s first big event Saturday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
They all came out to stand up against hate, meet new neighbors, make new friends, and share food, music, and art together.
Hate Free Delridge is a grass-roots organization that evolved as a result of July’s hate crime targeting a Pigeon Point family with mixed-race children. Saturday’s crowd was diverse not only in ethnicities but also geographically – while HFD organizers are primarily from Puget Ridge and Pigeon Point, people showed up from other West Seattle neighborhoods too.
Erica Moore lives in The Admiral District, where she saw a flyer for the event at Alki Bike and Board, owned by Stu Hennessey, one of the founders of Hate Free Delridge. Moore, who is African-American, said she has dealt with discrimination herself, but she has learned to handle it with goodness and grace. She echoed Pavan Vangipuram’s opening words that the way to fight fire is with water.
Vangipuram, who is with OneAmerica, and is also a founder of Hate Free Delridge, opened the program with a recap of what led to HFD’s formation.
He encouraged everyone to talk to someone they don’t know during the evening. Hennessey was the MC of the program, keeping things moving along. He had everyone stand up and meet someone they’ve never met in their life, which worked so well that the conversations around the room drowned him out.
Martha Ortiz, of Mexican heritage, said she was at the event to support the Black Lives Matter movement and all oppressed people. Her daughter Rebecca Garcia was also there with her children. “I have two kids, too,” Garcia said. “It could have been my family – they’re mixed.” Her daughter Laura Garcia, 11, was busy making balloon animals for anyone who wanted one:
The entire family lives in the Puget Ridge neighborhood. With them was Sandra Aguilar, originally from Mexico, now residing in Yakima. Aguilar has been in the U.S. for 20 years.
“In Yakima, we’re addressing these issues, too, about privilege and hate,” she said. “I’m faced with the fact of more separation of cultures in Yakima, but there are a lot of people working to change that.” She came to support the group, and to perform with Garcia. Together, they are a musical group called Once Minutos (11 minutes), performing in Seattle, Wenatchee and Yakima.
Reba Schneider, who lives near Westwood Village, grew up in the Leschi area, which she described as having been in transition at the time, from being a mostly Jewish community to an African-American neighborhood. She said that laid the groundwork for her interest in and value of diversity. Her great-grandparents had lived in West Seattle, so that was what drew her to this area later.
Attendees dined on an absolutely incredible free dinner of homemade tapas, followed by dessert. Most of the food was donated, and then prepared by a small army of volunteer kitchen wizards.
The music flowed:
Also, children had their faces painted, and everyone had the chance to sign a large banner or write a Haiku poem based on the theme “My Stand Against Hate.”
Among those penning poems, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold:
Who knew that a nasty note could lead to all of this community goodness? Next up for Hate Free Delridge will be a vigil to stand up against hate, 6 pm October 15th at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza.
Two months after a racist, threatening note left for a Pigeon Point family shocked our area … seven weeks after some of that family’s neighbors joined forces to decide how to make a statement against hate … the resulting group‘s first community event is hours away, and this is a reminder that you are invited! We’ve been reporting on the plan for the first Hate-Free Delridge community gathering, and tomorrow – Saturday, September 24th – is the day. Doors open at 4 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), free dinner served at 5, music and activities promised for all ages until 8 pm, with the chance for you to “share your ideas for standing against hate.” HFD also has already announced its next event, an October 15th vigil.